Good Morning Ted and Jody:
I trust you did not have to drive yesterday. Just the short distance on I-5 between here and Longview was enough to tell me there would be bottlenecks almost everywhere. Then too, here it was a bit wet; it was like driving in a heavy rain, even when the rain stopped for all the water the traffic threw back into the air. Early, around 7:30 there was a hint of light in the eastern sky that allowed one photograph, but most of the time, there was too much moisture in droplet form floating about in the air to do much photography.
I wrote another short fiction piece. It does help to fill some time with Nancy gone.
Warmest regards, Ed
Sammy’s Best Friend
(flash fiction by T. Edward Westen in 613 words, 2016)
Doctors didn’t know what caused Sammy’s paralysis. Two days after his 8th birthday Sammy simply didn’t get out of bed—couldn’t get out of bed. His chest muscles allowed him to breath; his heart beat was steady and even; but, none of his other muscles seemed to work, not even those controlling eye movement. After months of hospitalization the doctors decided to send Sammy home where he lay, propped up in a front window and, hopefully, watched the world go by: cars, trucks, kids walking to and from school and father’s pulling in to and out of driveways.
At 3:25, every day the doorbell rang. Sammy’s mother opened the door. “HI, Tim. I thought it might be you.”
“Good afternoon, Mrs. Simons. Sammy in?”
“He’s in his room. I’m sure he would want to see you.”
Tim Ward thanked Ellen Simons walked the 12 feet to Sammy’s door opened it saying “Hay Kiddo you’ll never guess what Delores did at lunch,” as he pulled the door shut.
Ellen went back to the kitchen where she was having coffee with her next door neighbor, Shelly Ferguson. When she entered the kitchen Shelly asked. “Who was that?”
“Tim Ward, Sammy’s best friend. He comes to see Sammy every day. Stays for an hour or so then goes home to dinner. Been coming since the day Sammy came home close to two years now.”
Shelly seemed lost in thought then asked “What do they, I mean what does he do in that hour with Sammy?”
“I suppose he tells him what happened at school.”
Shelly’s whole face contorted in frowns, worry and dismay. “If Sammy were my son I would want to know he wasn’t, you know.”
Both women got up without a further word and with all the stealth of an Oscar winning performance of a silent screen player crept to the Sammy’s door. Ellen reached down and ever so slowly turned the handle so it would not betray their presence and cracked it an inch or so. “I don’t know Tonto. Perhaps if I go into town in disguise, I could see where the sheriff fits into the stage robberies.” They could see Tim hunched forward in a chair next to Sammy’s bed. For All the world, it looked like Sammy was hunched forward a bit too. “Be careful Kemosaby, if the sheriff is part of this he will kill to . . . “ Ellen pushed the door shut, still holding the door knob so it wouldn’t make a sound.
Once back in the kitchen Shelly said “That makes me feel better. They were listening to the Lone Ranger on the radio.”
This time it was Ellen’s face that contorted through more expressions than words can describe. “But, there is no radio in there.”
There was no stealth as the two women raced to the Sammy’s room and jerked the door open. Tim was not there. The chair by the bed was returned to its normal place. The was no radio. Sammy lie as he always did.
The two women were still seated at the kitchen table when Sam Simmons came home from work. Shelly looked at her watch and exclaimed “Gotta get dinner started” and darted out the kitchen door.
Sam bent over and kissed his wife. “Good Day?” he asked.
“Strange, Sam. Timmy Ward came and the boys were listening to the Lone Ranger . . .”
Sam, cocked his head slightly to the right as a frown formed above the bridge of his nose. “Timmy Ward! That is impossible, he died 18 months ago over in Centerville when a truck rear ended his family’s station wagon at a stop sign.”